Introducing Cloud Explorer 5.6

Introduction

I am pleased to announce v5.6 of Cloud Explorer.  The biggest new feature for this release allows users to record audio messages that will be saved into their selected bucket.  Cloud Explorer provides a great way to share audio messages because the S3 API allows users to share files via a public URL. Syncing is now more stable intelligent. When syncing to or from a bucket, sync compares the last modified time and if the destination has a newer version, the file will not be copied. The text editor now has a folder list box so users can save notes into a specific folder. This is an excellent way to stay organized and use Cloud Explorer for note taking.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 6.29.43 PM

Getting Cloud Explorer

Cloud Explorer is available for download from here.  After downloading, please upgrade to 5.6 if you are running an earlier release.

 

Upgrading to 5.6

Starting with Cloud Explorer 5.0 or later, you can upgrade by clicking on Help -> Check for updates. After the update is complete, restart Cloud Explorer.

 

Here is a complete list of changes in v5.6:

Bug Fixes:
1. Syncing GUI and CLI: Prevent duplicated transfers of synced files in folders and items go in the correct folder when syncing to the local machine,

2. Syncing from CLI: Syncing from S3 saves to appropriate directory level.

Improvements:
1. Music Player:  Plays WAV files, stop button renamed to “Stop /Close” for clarity, and no longer case sensitive for MP3 file extensions.

2. Syncing GUI and CLI: Overwrite button removed.

New Features:
1. Audio recorder.
2. Sync GUI and CLI: Timestamps are compared and the outdated files are overwritten.
3. Folder support for saving files in the Text Editor.

What is new in Cloud Explorer 5.2 ?

What is Cloud Explorer?

Cloud Explorer is a open-source S3 client. It works on Windows, Linux, and Mac. It has a graphical and command line interface for each supported operating system.

Features:

  • Search
  • Performance testing
  • Music player
  • Transition buckets to Amazon Glacier
  • Amazon RRS
  • Migrate buckets between S3 accounts
  • Compress files prior to upload
  • Take screen shots to S3
  • Simple text editor
  • IRC client
  • Share buckets with users
  • Access shared buckets
  • View images
  • Sync folders
  • Graph CSV files and save them to a bucket.

 

What is new in 5.2?

The main new feature in 5.2 is the ability to graph a CSV file from a bucket. From the screenshot below, you can configure the settings for your graph.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.54.43 AM

 

Next, click “Graph” and we get the output below. The graph will be saved to the S3 bucket and hard drive.

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.58.00 AM

 

The text editor  has the ability to substitute and replace text.

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.59.30 AM

 

There is also a few minor bug fixes. Please see the release notes for more information.

 

Getting Cloud Explorer

Cloud Explorer is available for download from here.  After downloading, please upgrade to 5.2.

 

Upgrading to 5.2

Starting with Cloud Explorer 5.0 or later, you can upgrade by clicking on Help -> Check for updates. After the update is complete, restart Cloud Explorer.

Using Cloud Explorer in a build system for Cloud Explorer

I pondered hard to think how I can make the build process easier for Cloud Explorer by using Cloud Explorer. Currently, I have a bash script that runs and puts files into place locally and compresses the program directory into a zip file. Finally, I have to manually upload Cloud Explorer to the S3 account for sharing. This process involves multiple steps and is tedious to do from different locations. For example, If I want to build a copy at another location, I would have to manually copy the file to my location and then upload with a client. There has to be an easier way.

For a more efficient solution, I added a command line argument for Cloud Explorer that will upload a given file with an object name by my choosing to a specified bucket. After the upload is completed, permissions will be set automatically and configured for sharing.

Example:

java -jar CloudExplorer.jar build $BUILD_NAME $ZIP $BUCKET

The above command is contained in a bash script that runs Cloud Explorer to do the upload. The build argument followed by the remaining arguments runs the program in “Build Mode”. The $BUILD_NAME argument specifies the name of the file when stored on S3. The $ZIP argument contains the location of the Cloud Explorer zip file. The $BUCKET argument specifies the bucket to be used on the S3 server. The account used for the upload will be the first account listed in the ~/s3.config file.

When the build system is ran and the arguments are accepted, Cloud Explorer will perform a parallel multi-part upload of the zip file. Upon completion, the zip file will have public access and a signed URL for simplified sharing. The signed URL will be displayed in the terminal and I can copy and paste it to my peers to download.

By adding this support to Cloud Explorer, I can run my build script and then wait a few minutes to share the build with anybody.

Cloud Explorer is located on Git Hub: https://github.com/rusher81572/cloudExplorer

Installing the official NVIDIA driver on CentOS

I found it very hard to find a guide to properly disable the nouveau driver so I can install the Nvidia driver on CentOS 6. This should help simplify the installation.

1. Install the kernel-devel and development packages for your running kernel.

yum -y install kernel-devel-`uname -r` kernel-headers-`uname -r`
yum groupinstall “Development Tools”

2. Blacklist the nouveau driver. This needs to be done to properly load the Nvidia driver. First, the module must be blacklisted on the system. The final step is to remove the nouveau driver from the kernel ram disk image.

echo “blacklist nouveau” >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

dracut -f -o nouveau

3. Boot into runlevel 3 with “nomodeset” on the kernel line in grub.cfg or add it to the kernel line in the grub boot menu. If you do not do this, you will see a black screen when you reboot.

4. Run the Nvidia installer

5. Reboot.

Installing the Nvidia driver on the latest Fedora

I found it very hard to find a guide to properly disable the nouveau driver so I can install the Nvidia driver on Fedora 20. This should help simplify the installation.

1. Install the kernel-devel and development packages for your running kernel.

yum -y install kernel-devel-`uname -r` kernel-headers-`uname -r`
yum groups mark-install “Development Tools”
yum groups install “Development Tools”

2. Blacklist the nouveau driver. This needs to be done to properly load the Nvidia driver. First, the module must be blacklisted on the system. The final step is to remove the nouveau driver from the kernel ram disk image.

echo “blacklist nouveau” >> /usr/lib/modprobe.d/dist-blacklist.conf

dracut -f -o nouveau

3. Boot into runlevel 3 with “nomodeset” on the kernel line in grub.cfg or add it to the kernel line in the grub boot menu. If you do not do this, you will see a black screen when you reboot.

4. Run the Nvidia installer

5. Reboot.

Compiling the latest Linux kernel

I felt like getting back into trying the latest kernel and wrote this article on how to compile the latest
Linux kernel from kernel.org. This was done on a machine running Fedora 20.

1. Download the sources from kernel.org

# wget https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.x/linux-3.14.tar.xz
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Basic Linux email server with SSL

This tutorial will show you how to configure an email server with SSL on EC2. Once setup, you can use your EC2 server as a Email relay.

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Installing OpenStack on CentOS

I finally got OpenStack installed correctly after struggling with their documentation and the guides online. I wanted to share these steps with the everyone to ease the pain.

 

1. Install Epel Repo

 

wget http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/x86_64/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm

wget http://rpms.famillecollet.com/enterprise/remi-release-6.rpm

rpm -Uvh remi-release-6*.rpm epel-release-6*.rpm

 

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Improving IO performance on Linux

I purchased a new server and have been struggling with IO performance on a RAID 1 setup. I first tried RAID 5 but it was horrible. Through all my struggles, I found a few kernel and filesystem tunables that helped me out.

The virtual machines improved also. They were barely usable.

Filesystem Tweaks: /etc/fstab

Change your mount options to:

defaults,noatime,data=writeback,barrier=0,nobh
Linux Kernel tunables:
sysctl -w vm.swappiness=0
sysctl -w vm.dirty_background_ratio=5
sysctl -w vm.dirty_ratio=5
sysctl -w vm.vfs_cache_pressure=200
The dirty tunables controls the portion of memory that the kernel will store pages in. I decreased the value to 5 so that I will have more memory free.  The cache_pressure tunable tells the kernel how to quickly free up the cache.

NIS server and client tutorial with AutoFS (CentOS / Arch Linux)

I use both Arch and CentOS in my environment so I made this  easy tutorial that will show you how to setup a NIS client/server on Arch Linux and CentOS.

*NIS Clients will not need ypserv*

Arch Linux:
# pacman -S ypbind-mt yp-tools ypserv autofs
CentOS: 
# yum -y install ypbind rpcbind ypserv autofs
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